Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In Chambers's The King in Yellow, a fin-de-siècle collection of horror stories, Hastur is the name of a city (in "The Repairer of Reputations") and the name of a potentially supernatural servant (in "The Demoiselle D'Ys").
H. P. Lovecraft read Chambers's book in 1926, and was so enchanted by it that he added elements of it to his own creations. There is only one place in Lovecraft's own writings that mentions Hastur:
- "I found myself faced by names and terms that I had heard elsewhere in the most hideous of connexions – Yuggoth, Great Cthulhu, Tsathoggua, Yog-Sothoth, R'lyeh, Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, Hastur, Yian, Leng, the Lake of Hali, Bethmoora , the Yellow Sign, L’mur-Kathulos, Bran , and the Magnum Innominandum – and was drawn back through nameless aeons and inconceivable dimensions to worlds of elder, outer entity at which the crazed author of the Necronomicon had only guessed in the vaguest way.... There is a whole secret cult of evil men (a man of your mystical erudition will understand me when I link them with Hastur and the Yellow Sign) devoted to the purpose of tracking them down and injuring them on behalf of the monstrous powers from other dimensions." — H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness
As can be seen from this quote, it is unclear whether Lovecraft's Hastur was a person, a place, an object, such as the Yellow Sign, or a deity. Derleth, however, developed Hastur into a Great Old One. In this incarnation, Hastur has several avatars:
- The Feaster from Afar
- The King in Yellow
- The High Priest Not to Be Described, who wears a yellow silken mask
Hastur is also featured in the PlayStation game as a summoned creature: in fact, one detail of the Mythos is that Hastur can be summoned, even accidentally, merely by saying its name out loud three times. His appearance is relatively amorphous, often taking the form of some great, loathesome octopoid beast, similar to his half-niece, Cthylla.
Hastur is also a character in the comic strip User Friendly.
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